Blisland Neighbourhood Development Plan Heritage and ... · remains, including late Neolithic...

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1 Blisland Neighbourhood Development Plan Heritage and Conservation objective draft June 2020 Please note that the current ‘status’ of this policy is that it has been agreed by the Steering Group and the Parish Council, with advice obtained from Cornwall Council’s NDP Officer. It will be scrutinised again by Cornwall Council and by the Independent Examining Officer when the ‘whole plan’ has been completed and the Parish will have several opportunities to further comment on the plan as we work toward the formal referenda. The Blisland Neighbourhood Development Plan recognises that the Parish’s historic environment has been created through a process of change and that change is one element in managing it. Conservation needs to reconcile the preservation of the special architectural and historic interests of the Parish with the wider Parish’s sustainability. Development which is sympathetic to the historic environment should enhance the historic identity, character and distinctiveness of the Parish whilst also contributing to its sustainability as a place to live and work. Objective The July 2019 NDP Parish Survey showed that a high percentage, some 93% of those responding, valued the heritage infrastructure of the Settlement centred around the Village Green and the Church as being ‘important’ or ‘very important’; the overarching objective of the NDP’s Heritage Policy is to properly reflect modern conservation principles in the maintenance and preservation of the Parish’s Heritage Assets for both current and future generations, to ensure that any development is designed to the highest standards and to enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the Parish whilst protecting its historic environment. The issues for which the NDP Heritage Policies are written to address are: a. Design in development that properly reflects Local Distinctiveness b. The Blisland Conservation Area and its setting c. The Historic Environment of Blisland Local Distinctiveness Paragraph 125 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that Neighbourhood Plans can and should play an important role in identifying the special qualities of each

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    Blisland Neighbourhood Development Plan

    Heritage and Conservation objective draft June 2020

    Please note that the current ‘status’ of this policy is that it has been agreed by the

    Steering Group and the Parish Council, with advice obtained from Cornwall Council’s NDP

    Officer. It will be scrutinised again by Cornwall Council and by the Independent Examining

    Officer when the ‘whole plan’ has been completed and the Parish will have several

    opportunities to further comment on the plan as we work toward the formal referenda.

    The Blisland Neighbourhood Development Plan recognises that the Parish’s historic

    environment has been created through a process of change and that change is one

    element in managing it. Conservation needs to reconcile the preservation of the special

    architectural and historic interests of the Parish with the wider Parish’s sustainability.

    Development which is sympathetic to the historic environment should enhance the

    historic identity, character and distinctiveness of the Parish whilst also contributing to its

    sustainability as a place to live and work.

    Objective

    The July 2019 NDP Parish Survey showed that a high percentage, some 93% of those

    responding, valued the heritage infrastructure of the Settlement centred around the

    Village Green and the Church as being ‘important’ or ‘very important’; the overarching

    objective of the NDP’s Heritage Policy is to properly reflect modern conservation

    principles in the maintenance and preservation of the Parish’s Heritage Assets for both

    current and future generations, to ensure that any development is designed to the

    highest standards and to enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the Parish

    whilst protecting its historic environment.

    The issues for which the NDP Heritage Policies are written to address are:

    a. Design in development that properly reflects Local Distinctiveness

    b. The Blisland Conservation Area and its setting

    c. The Historic Environment of Blisland

    Local Distinctiveness

    Paragraph 125 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that Neighbourhood

    Plans can and should play an important role in identifying the special qualities of each

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    area and explaining how this should be reflected in development

    Cornwall Local Plan (CLP) 12 says that proposals should be judged against design

    principles of character, layout, movement, adaptability, inclusiveness, diversity and good

    neighbourliness.

    CLP 24 says that proposals will be permitted where they protect, conserve and where

    appropriate enhance designated and non-designated heritage assets and requires

    historic environment assessments to accompany all proposals. Supporting this is a SPD

    which requires the historic environment impact assessments to:

    a. Identify the Site, the heritage assets and their settings

    b. Understand its significance, its sensitivities and capacity for change

    c. Understand the potential impact of specific proposals on that significance

    d. Use that understanding to inform the design process to:

    1) Look for opportunities to avoid, minimise or mitigate impact.

    2) Look for opportunities to better reveal or enhance significance to

    create a more sustainable and interesting place.

    3) Justify any harmful impacts (in terms of sustainable development, the

    need for change & overriding benefits)

    4) Offset negative impacts through recording, disseminating and archiving

    archaeological and historical information.

    The Cornwall Design Guide (CDG) indicates how proposals can contribute to the local distinctiveness of any area by following specific guidance; specific guidance on Local Distinctiveness are in Sections 3, 4, 7 and 8 of the CDG. Evidence and records of the special characteristics of the Parish and the inherent Local Distinctiveness are also included in the following documents and these should be material considerations in the determination of any relevant application

    a. The Blisland Conservation Area Appraisal b. The Blisland Conservation Area Management Plan

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    c. Historic England Listed Building and Scheduled Ancient Monument Descriptions d. The Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan e. The Cornwall & Scilly Isles Historic record

    More than the specific characteristics contained in the above documents, there should be an understanding and an awareness of the infrastructure that forms the inherent Local Distinctiveness of the wider parish. This has its historic origins in human occupation and agrarian activity going back some 10,000 years. The landscape is rich in prehistoric remains, including late Neolithic circles, barrows, huts, and other stone circles. The core village settlement has Saxon, and later Norman origins. It is based on an overall homogeneity of construction in that the majority of buildings have granite walls, slate roofs, and are two stories high; the hedges that provide the defining structure of a parish field system dating from medieval times; the associated parish infrastructure, such as the bridges, the farm gates and tracks, and the ancient lane and track system - all of these are constructed of directly locally sourced natural materials, predominantly granite. Because of their traditional stone structure they all require sensitive consideration in their maintenance, management, and care. There are also many stone crosses and way markers scattered throughout the parish and along country lanes which could be vulnerable through potential land use changes, which in turn could impact on the asset or its setting. The positioning of these particular assets is seen as part of their historical importance and, therefore, any changes to the asset or its present position within the landscape could reduce its meaningful historical value. The ancient woodland known as Lavethan Wood, with its meandering river setting is an important recreation asset used by the local community and visitors to Blisland. It is also a natural haven for wildlife and is a connecting wildlife corridor. Any proposals that would affect this woodland, its setting, or impact on it, would not be supported. Throughout the parish there are wooden and metal directional finger posts which form part of the character of the parish and reflect and enhance the rural landscape. There should be a strong desire to avoid losing any of these directional finger signposts through loss, damage, or replacement with inappropriate urban signs. There are various vistas and views throughout the parish which reflect its unique historical and natural landscape character. These look out over the valley and woodlands, along the river, and across to open moorland and countryside. Glimpses of these can also be seen from the Conservation Area, between houses within the settlement, and along the narrow country lanes. These should not be compromised through possible future development proposals. All these assets come together to form a powerful sense of place that carries a distinctiveness particular to Blisland, and all are valued by the community.

    Comment [KD1]: these paragrahs could be moved to the Landscape objective

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    Development proposals should be able to demonstrate how these essential characteristics have been assessed in the application, and how these locally distinct characteristics have been translated into the proposed design.

    1.1 Heritage Policy 2 : The Blisland Conservation Area

    2.1.1 Justification

    The Blisland Conservation Area (CA) was designated in 1997 as shown in the map below:

    The CA is small in area terms and is centred around the Village Green and the Grade One

    Listed Parish Church; it is close to unique in Cornwall in being a Saxon rather than a

    Celtic infrastructure and contains Listed Buildings, non-designated buildings and

    Scheduled Monuments.

    The Blisland Conservation Area Appraisal (BCAAA) and the Blisland Conservation Area

    Management Plan (BCAMP) provide a clear statement of the special interest and the

    local identity and distinctiveness of the Blisland settlement and they should inform all

    those who make decisions which may impact on the character of the historic core of the

    settlement. The BCAMP (which was adopted in 2007), is being updated to more properly

    reflect the increased pressure on the CA.

    Over the last three decades, the pressure on the Conservation Area has significantly

    increased as development has taken place and minor alterations have been made. Minor

    alterations can have a cumulative and adverse effect on the integrity of Blisland’s historic

    environment and therefore it is now more essential than ever that the principles

    contained in the CDG, the BDG, the BCAA and the BCAMP are followed in relation to any

    additions or changes within the Conservation Area or its Setting.

    ( insert map here)

    Heritage Policy 1- Design & Local Distinctiveness in the Parish of Blisland

    As appropriate to their scale and location development proposals should respond positively to local identity and distinctiveness using the BCAA, the BCAMP & the BDG. The extent to which this is demonstrated in the development proposal should determine whether the proposal is in keeping with the character of the area Where appropriate and feasible, proposals should help to address any negative features and take up enhancement opportunities.

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    1.1.2 Intention: The intention of these policies is to ensure that any proposed development either within the Conservation Area or affecting its setting should respond positively to local identity and distinctiveness using the BCAA, the BCAMP and the BDG. Particular consideration should be given to avoid the adverse impact of inappropriate development compounded by cumulative small changes over time.

    1.5 Heritage Policy 3 : Permitted Development Rights within the Conservation Area

    Justification

    The important historical infrastructure within the Conservation Area would be put at risk

    if small changes which do not normally require planning consent were allowed to have a

    detrimental impact on the Conservation Area and those listed buildings within it.

    1.6 Intention: In order to retain the ability to control inappropriate development, any

    modern development within, or affecting the setting of, the Blisland Conservation Area

    should have a Planning Condition that withholds Permitted Development Rights

    1.2 Heritage Policy 4 – The Wider Historic Environment Outside of the Settlement

    1.4.1.Justification.

    Outside of the Conservation Area development proposals should contribute to the ‘sense

    of place’ and reflect the local distinctiveness of the wider Parish; drawing on both the

    Cornwall and Blisland Design Guides to provide the relevant design cues; where it is

    practicable development should use vernacular local materials.

    Blisland Parish is rich in heritage assets including domestic and religious buildings and

    archaeological sites and features. These heritage assets are important not only to the

    local community and future generations, but they also play a key role in adding value to

    Cornwall’s tourism industry.

    Blisland Heritage Policy 2 – Conservation Area

    Any proposals that would affect the Blisland Conservation Area or its Setting should respond

    positively to local identity and distinctiveness using the Blisland Design Guide, the BCAA and the

    BCAMP to inform the design approach in a planning application. Proposals which would have

    an impact on heritage assets should seek to preserve and enhance the building or its setting or

    any features of special architectural or historic interest it possesses.

    Heritage Policy 3 - Permitted Development Rights

    Any modern development within, or affecting the setting of, the Blisland Conservation Area

    should carry a Planning Condition that withholds Permitted Development rights.

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    Outside of the settlement of Blisland some 80% of the parish by area is within the

    Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; and the balance is designated as

    being an Area of Great Landscape Value; these considerable areas are rich in a varied

    and considerable number of heritage assets & archaeology sites (AS), particularly on the

    upland areas of the Parish; those assets & sites that are ‘designated’ are, self-evidently,

    not difficult to identify and are thus provided with the statutory range of ‘protection’

    within the Planning Acts against inappropriate development. Non Designated Heritage

    Assets (NDHA) and Archaeological Sites (AS) are a broader and more difficult issue; the

    geographical size of the Parish and the long history of occupation going back into

    prehistory makes any attempt to identify and catalogue all historic sites within the Parish

    sites a significant task, notwithstanding their potential significance.

    There are two other discrete areas within the Historic Environment of the Parish outside

    of the Settlement that need specific consideration:

    a. Firstly the isolated farmsteads on the approaches to the granite uplands are

    invariably of ‘ancient’ origin and are often undocumented (even when the

    Farmhouse itself is designated the wider farm infrastructure is often

    undocumented) but are potentially significant. Directly related to this

    significance are the elements of Cornish distinctiveness inherent in their

    infrastructure and their wider setting particularly in terms of their early

    occupation.

    b. Secondly the identification of Cornish Distinctiveness within the NDHA; within

    the wider historic environment of the Parish Cornish Distinctiveness encompasses

    the prehistoric archaeological landscapes of the granite uplands together with

    surviving prehistoric monuments, quoits and standing stone, as well as the

    enclosed lowland landscape of medieval fields representing a predominantly

    dispersed rural settlement pattern of farming hamlets.

    1.6.2. Intention: This policy seeks to preserve the wealth of historic interest and local

    character of our largely unspoiled moorland Parish as part of our national heritage.

    Blisland Heritage Policy 4 – Historic Environment

    All development outside of the Blisland Conservation Area should contribute to the ‘sense of

    place’ and reflect the local identity and distinctiveness of the Parish using design cues from

    Cornwall and Blisland Design Guides to inform the design approach in a planning application.

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    The use of a ‘pattern book approach’ involves a comparison with the architectural forms

    that exist in a place and provide its unique local characteristics; and then using this

    comparison to inform the scale, density, massing, height, landscape, layout, materials

    and the architectural detailing to maintain the essential character of the place. This

    methodology can help developers and designers to provide designs which match the

    physical and social patterns that exist within the Parish; and thus make an effective

    contribution to sustainable development.

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    Designated Heritage Assets Within the Parish

    A comprehensive record of the Listed Buildings and Monuments within the Parish are

    contained in the National Heritage List for England; this is maintained by Historic

    England and can be viewed here https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/

    Principle Listed Buildings Within the Blisland Conservation Area

    The principle historical building within the Conservation Area is the Grade One Listed

    Church of St Protus and St Hyacinth, which is a Norman building possibly built on Saxon

    foundations. It is a fine example of a Cornish ‘Parish Cathedral’ set against the Saxon

    structure of the Village Green. The Church is architecturally distinctive, of National

    importance and is recognised internationally for its connection with Sir John Betjeman.

    There are five Grade Two Listed Crosses & Oratories within the Churchyard.

    The Grade Two Star Mansion House situated on the Eastern side of the Village Green is of

    mid 15th Century Origins and is a fine example of a traditional Cornish Farmhouse

    constructed of granite rubble with large granite quoins. Arranged around a ‘U’ shaped

    Courtyard with domestic ranges to the south, west & north it is the most important

    Building within the Conservation Area after the Grade One Listed Church.

    There are a further 18 Grade Two Listed Buildings Monuments and Structures within the

    Conservation Area.

    Principle Listed Buildings within the Parish of Blisland Outside of the Conservation Area

    Outside of the BCA the following three buildings are listed as Grade Two Star:

    The Church of St Catherine within the hamlet of Temple dates back to the 12th or

    early 13th century. It is the most important single historical building within the

    Parish outside of the settlement of Blisland.

    The principal landowning Estate in the Parish is Trewardale between the

    settlement and the Bodmin to Launceston highway. The Grade Two Star Listed

    House was built in 1773 and extended over the following centuries. There are

    several additional listed buildings within its grounds.

    Lavethan Manor to the South East of the settlement was originally constructed in

    the early to mid 16th Century, very probably with earlier origins; it was

    remodelled in the early 17th Century and again at either the end of the 17th or at

    the beginning of the 18th; the Ha Ha to the southwest of the House, the Cross to

    the east, the barns to the west, the Well House to the northeast and the Gateway

    to the Gatehouse to the northwest are all separately Grade Two Listed. This

    cluster of important buildings form an important element within the Parish’s

    historical infrastructure and heritage.

    There are a further 78 Grade Two Listed Buildings, Monuments and Structures within the

    Parish outside of the Conservation Area.

    https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/